Perfectly splendid on their own as a special treat for yourself, they're also marvelous as part of a tea party platter. If you love chocolate as much as I do, add these chocolate lace cookies to a menu of other nibbles for a truly indulgent chocolate tea party. Try our Baileys Dark Chocolate Cupcakes, Chocolate Almond Cookies, or Decadent Chocolate Zucchini Scones with Blueberries.
Chocolate lace cookies are made of two crisp layers sandwiched with melted dark chocolate then chilled until the chocolate hardens again. This creates a sandwich cookie that looks and tastes delicate but is sturdy enough to hold in your hand and take a bite without it falling apart.
Many years ago, the Dutch bakery in my hometown used to make these extra-large, layered with buttercream then partially dipped in dark chocolate. I adored them and they were my first choice every time I went there for coffee.
They made their cookie layers with hearty rolled oats, which were great, but I decided to make these with roasted ground hazelnuts instead.
How to Make Dark Chocolate Lace Cookies
The dough for chocolate lace cookies is quite unusual. There's no creaming of butter and sugar, no multiple cups of flour or eggs, or any of the things you usually add to cookie dough. Even more unusual, the dough is cooked over the stove first, then scooped onto a baking tray in tiny dollops that spread out into glassy wafers that harden beautifully when cooled.
It all starts by melting together brown sugar, salted butter, and a scant bit of milk until the mixture is thick and glossy. Ground nuts, a few spoonfuls of flour, and some vanilla are stirred in while it's still hot, and that's it, you're ready to bake.
When the oven is hot, you spoon only half a teaspoon of the warm dough onto your baking sheet, making sure each dollop is about 3 inches apart. It's hard to believe that such a small amount of dough will take up so much space, but trust me, if you place them too close together, they'll form a giant sheet of lacy cookie instead of individual pieces.
If you do mess up and they do all meld together, take heart. Just let them cool completely then break them into shards to scatter over ice cream, pudding, or even to decorate the top of a cake.
I chose a simple filling of melted Belgian dark chocolate for these chocolate lace cookies, but you could also use milk chocolate, white chocolate, or your favorite buttercream frosting. Just make sure the cookies are cooled completely before you start assembling them, or they will break apart and you'll be left with a scrumptious mess.
When I fill mine, I like to place half the cookies bottom side up on a baking tray lined with baking paper, then drizzle each cookie with a generous amount of melted dark chocolate. Then I quickly add the tops and put the whole lot into the fridge to chill until the chocolate is solid.
Chocolate lace cookies go well with nutty or chocolate teas. Try a couple with a big mug of our Brunch in Paris tea, a blend of black and honeybush teas with cocoa nibs and orange pieces, Chocolate Hazelnut tea made from honeybush tea mingled with cocoa nibs and hazelnut pieces, or Breakfast in Bed black tea laced with blackberry and hazelnut essence.
Chocolate Lace Cookies
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup salted butter
- 1 tablespoon whole milk
- 1/2 cup ground hazelnuts
- 3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup dark Belgian chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350.
Set saucepan over medium heat and add brown sugar, butter, and milk. Heat 3-4 minutes, stirring regularly, until melted, smooth, and slightly thickened.
Stir in ground hazelnuts, flour, and vanilla extract, then remove from heat and let cool for no more than five minutes.
Cover baking sheet with baking paper and, using 1/2 tsp measuring spoon, drop dough onto sheet 3 inches apart.
Bake about 6 minutes, watching from the 5-minute mark to ensure they don't burn. Cookies are ready when they're lacy, thin, and a beautiful golden brown.
Remove tray from oven and leave cookies on the sheet to cool for five minutes. Then remove to a cooling rack and cool completely.
While cookies are cooling, melt dark chocolate in a double boiler until smooth. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes or so until slightly thickened.
Spread melted chocolate on the bottom of one cookie and top with another. Repeat until all cookies are used up.
Refrigerate until set and store in layers between waxed paper in an airtight container.